NASA Maven Mission
The NASA MAVEN mission funded entirely from the NASA budget launched in late 2013 and will arrive on or about September 22, 2014. The NASA MAVEN mission goal is to find out how and why the Mars atmosphere has been depleted over billions of years. As quoted from the NASA website “The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN NASA MAVEN mission is part of NASA’s Mars Scout program, the mission will explore the Red Planet’s upper atmosphere, ionosphere and interactions with the sun and solar wind. Scientists will use MAVEN data to determine the role that loss of volatiles from the Mars atmosphere to space has played through time, giving insight into the history of Mars’ atmosphere and climate, liquid water, and planetary habitability.”
Partnering with NASA on the NASA MAVEN mission are The University of California, The University of Colorado Laboratory and The Goddard Space Flight Center
The University of California, Berkeley Space Sciences Laboratory. Provides a package of sensors. The P&F Package (Particles and Field Package) that features:
- Solar Wind Electron Analyzer (SWEA) that measures solar wind and ionosphere electrons
- Solar Wind Ion Analyzer (SWIA) it measures the solar wind and magnetosheath ion density and velocity
- Supra Thermal And Thermal Ion Composition (STATIC) on board to measure thermal ions to moderate-energy escaping ions
- Solar Energetic Particle (SEP) this determines the impact of SEPs on the upper atmosphere
- Langmuir Probe and Waves (LPW) determines ionosphere properties and wave heating of escaping ions and solar extreme ultraviolet (EUV) input to atmosphere
- Magnetometer (MAG) that measures interplanetary solar wind and ionosphere magnetic fields
The University of Colorado Laboratory Provided the Remote Sensing (RS) Package for Atmospheric and Space Physics and the Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrometer (IUVS) to measure global characteristics of the upper atmosphere and ionosphere in the Mars atmosphere.
Goddard Space Flight Center provided the Neutral Gas and Ion Mass Spectrometer (NGIMS) Package it measures the composition and isotopes of neutral gases and ions.
The NASA MAVEN mission launch vehicle was the reliable Atlas V single stick rocket by Lockheed Martin Space Systems and launch service provided by United Launch Alliance and The US Air Force Eastern Range. The launch was a success and as of the post on schedule with all tests of on board systems positive.
NASA MAVEN mission highlights:
- NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission part of the Mars Scout program.
- Launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 41
- Launched Monday, November 18th, 2013
- Launch Vehicle; Atlas V in the 401 AV-038 configuration.
- Mission objectives to explore the Mars atmosphere, ionosphere and interactions with the sun and solar wind.
- Funding from the NASA budget.
- The Mars atmosphere has been depleted over time, the MAVEN mission will attempt to ascertain what occurred and establish a time line of those events,
- MAVEN will also give insight into the history of Mars’ atmosphere and climate, liquid water, and planetary habitability.
Reffrence Link = NASA MAVEN Mission